n African Entomology - Recent establishment of many alien insects in South Africa - a cause for concern : short communications




Any new alien insect that succeeds in reaching and establishing in South Africa is a cause for concern, especially if it is phytophagous and feeds on commercially important plants. It is important that this should be detected early and documented so that the status of the insect as a pest can be assessed. Where necessary, the agricultural sector, trading partners and neighbouring countries should be alerted and consideration given to the possibility of eradication. The rate at which these insects establish in a region gives an indication of the adequacy of phytosanitary procedures which are aimed at preventing this. The aim of this paper is to draw attention to the number of alien insect species (excluding pet insects and those introduced for the biological control of pest insects and weeds) which have recently (arbitrarily the last 12 years) established in South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape Province, and to consider possible pathways by which they have entered the country. Indications are that new introductions are taking place at an alarming rate, pointing to deficiencies in the regulatory procedures and constraints faced by the South African regulatory system.


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